German media regulator rules against RT’s local service
BERLIN (AP) — A German media regulator has ruled that Russian state broadcaster RT must cease broadcasting its German-language programs in the country, saying that it lacks the necessary permission.
The ZAK regulator, which decides on applications from private organizations to broadcast nationwide in Germany, said Wednesday that no application has been made or granted for RT DE and it has “no other permit that is legitimate under European law.”
RT DE started broadcasting its programs via various channels, including its website and satellite, in mid-December. It has pointed to a Serbian license. German media regulators then opened proceedings.
RT DE said Wednesday that its broadcasting is in line with European law, and said its Serbian broadcasting license, granted on Dec. 6, is valid until 2029. It said it will challenge the regulator’s decision in court.
There have been tensions between Germany and Russia over RT DE in recent months. In September, YouTube shut two German RT channels in a move centering on alleged coronavirus misinformation, a decision that drew threats of retaliation from Russia.
Last year, Luxembourg rejected an application by RT for a license to distribute its German-language service via satellite. Authorities in the country concluded that Luxembourg wasn’t the right jurisdiction to rule on the request because RT’s German service is based in Berlin and a significant part of its workforce is in Germany.